Shoaib Shariff

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Podcast: Ego is the Enemy With Ryan Holiday | The Art of Manliness

In the quest to become the men we want to be, we’re often our own worst enemies, especially when it comes to our egos. Ego is what prevents us from …

Self-improvement

Against Self-Criticism: Adam Phillips on How Our Internal Critics Enslave Us, the Stockholm Syndrome of the Superego, and the Power of Multiple Interpretations

“In broaching the possibility of being, in some way, against self-criticism, we have to imagine a world in which celebration is less suspect than criticism.”<p>I have thought and continued to think a great deal about the relationship between critical thinking and cynicism — what is the tipping point …

Self-Criticism

The Psychology of Time and the Paradox of How Impulsivity and Self-Control Mediate Our Capacity for Presence

“Consciousness is tied to corporeality and temporality: I experience myself as existing with a body over time.”<p><i>“Reality is never and nowhere more accessible than in the immediate moment of one’s own life,”</i> Kafka once told a teenage friend. <i>“It’s only there that it can be won or lost.”</i> The great …

Podcast: Don't Think About Your Feelings Much | The Art of Manliness

It’s become an article of faith in our modern world that if you’re feeling depressed, unmotivated, angry, or anxious, what you need to do is think …

Self-improvement

Podcast: How to Find a Career You Love | The Art of Manliness

Have you ever met someone who has a job that seems like something they were born to do? Not only do their skills match up with their job, but they …

How to Create a Life Plan in 5 Easy Steps | The Art of Manliness

The craftsman is an archetype of manliness that has been with us for millennia. We admire his ethos — his independence, his work ethic, and his …

Are we more than molecules?

Novelists, poets and artists can help us to piece together the mystery of human consciousness, says Mark Haddon<p>My son’s nine-year-old friend Yahya said it most succinctly. Why is life in the first person?<p>We think. We feel. We are aware of ourselves and the world around us. We have consciousness. We …

Kurt Vonnegut’s Lost NYU Lecture on What It Takes to Be a Writer, Animated

<b>Kurt Vonnegut</b> (November 11, 1922–April 11, 2007) was not only a writer of timeless wisdom on the craft, but an irrepressible humanist of rare insight into the secret of happiness and astute advice on living meaningfully. Although he was the era’s most sought-after commencement speaker and delivered …

Sioux Indians and Mental/Physical Toughness | The Art of Manliness

<i>Charles Alexander Eastman was born in 1858 and raised as “Ohiyesa” to be a hunter and warrior in the traditional ways of the Santee Sioux. When he</i> …

Spirituality

Virginia Woolf on Why She Became a Writer and the Shock-Receiving Capacity Necessary for Being an Artist

“Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern… the whole world is a work of art… there is no Shakespeare… no Beethoven… no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”<p><i>“Only art penetrates … the seeming realities of this world,”</i> Saul Bellow asserted in his Nobel Prize acceptance …

Parker Palmer’s Spectacular Commencement Address on the Six Pillars of the Examined Life

“Take everything that’s bright and beautiful in you and introduce it to the shadow side of yourself… When you are able to say, ‘I am … my shadow as well as my light,’ the shadow’s power is put in service of the good.”<p>In 1974, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher and Oxford alumnus Chögyam Trungpa founded …

Literature

Weekly Planning: How to Plan Your Week | The Art of Manliness

Growing up, each day is pretty well-scheduled out for you. School from morning til afternoon. After school sports or a job. Homework. Time for bed. …

Simone Weil on True Genius and the Crushing Illusion of Inferiority

“When one hungers for bread one does not receive stones.”<p><i>“Many of the tenets of sainthood are also to be cultivated in the committed writer,”</i> Melissa Pritchard observed in her beautiful meditation on art as a form of active prayer. But for French philosopher, political activist, and mystic <b>Simone</b> …

War

The World We Live In: An Extraordinary Reality-Check

The chilling human story behind an almost-statistic.<p><i>“You’ve got to tell the world how to treat you,”</i> James Baldwin told Margaret Mead in their magnificently prescient 1970 conversation on race. <i>“If the world tells you how you are going to be treated, you are in trouble.”</i> And yet the most pernicious …

Animated Movies

How to Tie 7 Basic Knots | The Art of Manliness

For centuries, knotsmanship has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s an essential skill whether a man desires to hit the high seas or …

Wendell Berry on How to Be a Poet and a Complete Human Being

“Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill…”<p><i>“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses,”</i> John F. Kennedy proclaimed in his touching tribute to Robert Frost, celebrating poetry as “the means of saving power from itself.” And although poetry …

Change the Way You Breathe to Relieve Stress, Boost Energy, and Get Stronger

You're breathing all wrong. Here's why you should fix the way you suck wind<p>The seminar looks like a faith healing.<p>Seated elbow-to-elbow at tables set amid squat racks and weight sleds, more than 30 trainers crane their necks to see the miracle unfolding at the front of the room. The lights are …

Tell Me What to Dream About: An Illustrated Nocturnal Adventure of Imaginative Possibility

Because who doesn’t want to be eating teeny-tiny waffles surrounded by teeny-tiny animals?<p><i>“Something nameless hums us into sleep,”</i> Mark Strand wrote in his bewitching ode to dreams — perhaps the same nameless something that has compelled us, for as long as the written record of human thought has …

Literature

Gabriel García Márquez’s Formative Reading List: 24 Books That Shaped One of Humanity’s Greatest Writers

“Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.”<p>The most reliable portal into another’s psyche is the mental library of that person’s favorite books — those foundational idea-bricks of which we build the home for our interior lives, the integral …

Rilke on How Great Sadnesses Bring Us Closer to Ourselves

“The future enters into us in this way in order to transform itself in us long before it happens.”<p><b>Rainer Maria Rilke</b>’s classic <b>Letters to a Young Poet</b> (<i>public library</i>) is among those very few texts — alongside Thoreau’s journal, Anne Lamott’s <i>Bird by Bird</i>, and Annie Dillard’s <i>Pilgrim at Tinker Creek</i> — …

Literature

How to Build Your Net Worth | The Art of Manliness

Do you feel like you’re not getting ahead with your finances? That no matter how hard you work or how much extra money you earn, you’re still in the …

Personal Finance

Bertrand Russell on Immortality, Why Religion Exists, and What “The Good Life” Really Means

“There are forces making for happiness, and forces making for misery. We do not know which will prevail, but to act wisely we must be aware of both.”<p><b>Bertrand Russell</b> (May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970) is one of humanity’s most grounding yet elevating thinkers, his writing at once lucid and luminous. …

Breakthroughs

Via Negativa: Addition by Subtraction | The Art of Manliness

It’s a new year and people all over the world are making resolutions on how they’re going to improve themselves. Usually these goals consist of doing …

Self-improvement

How to Deal with a Job You Don't Like | The Art of Manliness

While in an ideal world, we’d all have our dream jobs at every period in our lives, the reality is that everyone will go through periods of not …

Virginia Woolf on How to Read a Book

<i>“The mind, the brain, the top of the tingling spine, is, or should be, the only instrument used upon a book,”</i> Vladimir Nabokov wrote in his treatise on what makes a good reader. <i>“Part of a reader’s job is to find out why certain writers endure,”</i> advised Francine Prose in her guide to reading like a …

Italo Calvino on the Unbearable Lightness of Language, Literature, and Life

One of the most influential and widely beloved authors of the twentieth century, <b>Italo Calvino</b> (October 15, 1923–September 19, 1985) was not only a sage of writing but also a man of piercing insight into such subtleties of existence as the art of asserting oneself with grace, the paradox of America, …

Skills Every Young Man Should Know | The Art of Manliness

<i>Editor’s note: An AoM reader recently wrote me a letter recommending I look up this old essay, which originally appeared in Harper’s Magazine in</i> …

How to Communicate With Your Spouse | The Art of Manliness

Loving relationships are the most important factor in a man’s happiness, success, and ability to live a fully flourishing life.<p>And one of the most …

9 Foundational Habits Young Men Should Start Now to Raise Themselves Right | The Art of Manliness

Awhile back I was driving through the place where I grew up – Edmond, Oklahoma – and happened to pass by my old high school. This wasn’t an unusual …

How to Undo the Damage of Sitting - 7 Simple Exercises | The Art of Manliness

If you’re like most men living and working in a techno-service economy, you probably spend a good deal of your day sitting down. You go from the …